tv Politics Nation MSNBC February 5, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
former governor of montana who is for the project and we will have other folks as we did earlier tonight and last night who are opposed to the project. politics nation starts right now. good evening, rev. >> good evening, ed. thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, the fight for fairness. tomorrow is a huge day in the u.s. senate. as voters planned on extending jobless benefits. one republican in the house says not extending those benefits is a moral issue. >> i believe it is imoral for this country to have as a policy extending long term unemployments to people rather than us working on creation of jobs. >> it's immorally to extend unemployment benefits because congress isn't doing enough on
job creation? congress should absolutely do more to create jobs. but how does that become immorally to help americans who are looking for work? in december more than a million people lost their jobless benefits because republicans refused to renew them. what is immorally is denying help to those who are trying to get back on their feet. >> after working in the dental industry for 26 years janet got laid off in september. >> we knew that we were hurting really bad financially so having the extra christmas for our kids was tough. >> i can't get a job. i have been applying everywhere. >> reporter: tony perez lost his job in march doing stamped concrete for a company he worked for for 20 years. so far no luck. his extended benefits have been helping him get by while the
search continues. >> giving people a life line while they search for jobs isn't immorally. you know what is? denying people health care to prove you don't like the federal government. republican governors like bobby jindal, rick perry, scott walker and nikki haley have flatly refused to expand medicare in their states. a new study finds between 7,000 and 17,000 deaths will be, quote, attributable to the lack of medicaid expansion per year. refusing the medicaid expansion is literally a matter of life and death. but republicans won't do it because they want to score political points? i think we have very different ideas of morality. joining me now are karen finny and dana millbank. thank you for being here.
dana, calling it immorally to help those who are out of work, i mean, that is rough, isn't it? >> it is one of those accidents in washington when somebody accidently speaks the truth and reveals a great deal about the position on this. i think that the democrats in the senate are being quite smart in saying listen republicans we have done what you have asked. we are getting this thing paid for and making sure the benefits don't go to millionaires. they are putting in the language republicans in the past have supported enforcing them if they really want to do this to vote it down. i think the democrats in the house and senate should be talking about very little else until they get things done. not only is it politicly winning issue but happens to be a moral issue. >> karen, tomorrow's vote is just a first step really. we still have a long way to go. >> we do have a very long way to
go. the other thing i would add is we are having two very different conversations here. the republicans are having a conversation about makers and takers and the 47% and this idea of creating this culture of dependency. we are trying to have a conversation about how we help people when they're most in need just for the period of time when they are in between jobs and trying to get their lives back together and we want to create jobs and they have halted every idea that the president has put forward that would create jobs. part of the problem we have a long way to go but part of the problem is they are not having the conversation we are having about helping people and creating jobs. >> you know when the unemployment benefits were about to expire in december you wrote about the long term unemployment. let me quote millbank to millbank. these people -- young, old from
all kinds of demographics have a 12% chance of finding a job in any given month and contrary to theories of rand paul republicans there is no evidence that they're more likely to fiechbd work after losing benefitsism cutting off their benefits only causes more suffering for them and more damage to the economy. so why do we keep hearing republicans talking about cutting off benefits? >> there are no jobs for them and republicans have resisted spending money on training to help the people get jobs. we are not talking about poor folks necessarily. we are talking about all walks of life. why isn't this the top priority of the senate and the house of representatives. i took a look at what the house did today. they passed a sportsman package of eight bills including permanent electronic duck stamp act and recreational hunting and fishing act. how about getting 1.8 million
people the benefits they need to keep on living before we worry about recreational fishing and duck stamps? >> dkaren, you talked about the politics of it. this is one of the times where you can find -- not always the case -- that you can be right and do something popular. for example, a new poll finds 66% of americans agree the government should work to reduce income inequality. most democrats, moderates and independents agree with that. it is only republicans that don't want the government to try to reduce inequality. are comments like calling unemployment benefits immorally playing to the gop base? >> they are. i think that is part of why -- i would have liked to see the way the questions were presented to those republicans who viewed it that way because i would be not surprised if in part it is because they have been fed this
diet of makers and takers, 47%. so the perception and the stereotypes about who is on unemployment insurance we are not talking about just poor people. the stereotypes that exist around who is relying on the benefits and how they use these benefits i think very much impacts how people answer the questions. >> now, you know the president has told federal agencies to not discriminate against long term unemployed. many companies are following suit. but a lot of it comes from the bosses of these companies which is why -- listen how the boss of the republican party responded, rush limbaugh. >> obama is here to level the playing field. if you are out of work longer than anybody else that is all that matters. what if you are fired because they are drunk? what if they are fired because
they were having affairs with the boss's secretary? doesn't matter. can't look at that. can't look at that. that's not fair. >> so everyone that's been out of work was drunk or having an affair with the boss? i mean, what is he talking about? >> it was a very long time ago when we heard about compassionate conservatism. i think they moved on to a new era here. look, if the elected republicans want to say rush limbaugh does not speak for them this would be an excellent chance to see if they can decide perhaps not to filibuster this in the senate and to perhaps allow this to be taken up by the house of representatives. democrats have a real populist opportunity here in saying it is people down on their luck, people like you. and they are being held back by republicans and corporate
interests. >> going back to the politics of it, what you raised earlier, when you deal with these issues, take for example the minimum wage, most americans support raising the minimum wage. the pew poll found 73% support it. 66% according to the "washington post." nbc found 63% should be a priority this year. this works in with women's issues since two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. how can republicans drag their feet on this? >> well, because they believe that this is the way they are catering to their gerrymandered conservative base. if you listen to what rush limbaugh was saying, if that is what people are hearing time and time again about who the people are who would benefit from an increase and rely on
unemployment insurance that drives their perceptions about who those people are. they drives their opinions. but in addition to that it means they are trying to cater to a base. that is why one of the ones last week that twd impose taxes on a business that a woman would have to justify if she had an abortion after being raped to the irs. they are focusing on these idea logical thing and then these other issues they put it in the terms of that would give obama a win. >> what about giving the american people a win? i'm going to have to leave it there. thank you for your time tonight. and be sure to watch "disrupt" with karen finney weekends at 4:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. the deafening silence we are
hearing from the republican lawmaker who refused to condemn this statement from a voter. >> obama is not president as far as i'm concerned. >> how does he let that vicious statement go unchallenged? big news tonight about the rich teenager who used affluenza defense to avoid prison time for a deadly dui crash. he is back in court facing the same judge. my thoughts on george zimmerman's so-called celebrity boxing match. i will respond tonight. stay with us. [ female announcer ] who are we? we are the thinkers. the job jugglers. the up all-nighters. and the ones who turn ideas into action.
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weirric back with the new figure in the bridge scandal. david wildstein is the official who implemented the lane closings. since the story broke wildstein's role at the agency has been a mystery. the christie administration created the job specifically for him. it came with a big title, director of interstate capitol projects and a salary of
$150,000. but without a job description insiders call wildstein the governor's eyes and ears. well, today we learned the port authority has eliminated the post that wildstein held. meaning wildstein will be forever known as the first and last person to have the job. it's a bizarre ending that only deepens the mystery. why was the christie administration so eager to create a job for david wildstein? and does he actually know of evidence that contradicts governor christie's public statements as his attorneys claim? joining me now is jonathan capeart. they created a director level job for david wildstein and eliminate the job right after he leaves. the governor says he hardly
knows the man. >>. [ laughter ] right. it makes you wonder why they gave him the job. the reason why they david wildstein that job lies within a headline of a story that the governor's own people used to attack david wildstein over the weekend and that was wildstein was the governor's eyes and ears inside the port authority. for wildstein to be given a plump position, you just don't make up jobs in gigantic bureaucratic agencies for some person you kind of knew in high school. you do it for someone who was a key ally. and it is a very important agency. for the governor to have eyes and ears inside the agency is rather smart. the problem that the governor is finding is that the eyes and ears are coming back to bite him and haunt him. >> i want to ask you about the
attack the christie administration launched on wildstein. it included the memorable claim, quote, he was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior. now, today the report was the christie team left one part out, apparently wildstein and the teacher made up. quote, issued a joint statement saying the entire matter had been an honest difference of opinion and basically a misunderstanding. so even though they went back to this man's high school days, tried to dig up a conflict he had with his social studies teacher we find out that that is not as we were told because they repaired it and said it was a misunderstanding and made up. why this kind of desperate at least in appearance attempt to smear him with things that don't fall into being all the way true
when you follow the line to the end of the story? >> the desperate attempt is a desperate attempt by the governor's supporters to protect the governor and to protect his administration. we have seen it time and time again when the principle gets in trouble, when the institution gets in trouble it moves very quickly to protect itself. it's all a matter of how well they do it. and christie's folks put out that two paged e-mail over the weekend didn't do it very well because if you have to go all the way back to high school to slam your critic, to slam your opponent you are not winning the argument. you are making it worse. >> let me ask you, where do you think we are now? we are waiting on the subpoenas. some have come in and some have an extension and some said they are not going to cooperate.
where do you see this going? >> right now we are in the wait and see period. monday was deadline for people to answer the subpoenas handed out by the state legislative committee looking into all of this. today is the deadline or should have been the deadline for those folks who have gotten subpoenas from the federal investigators. so we just have to sit and wait and see what kinds of information comes out from that. in the meantime we can expect to see governor christie do what i think he has been doing rather well especially from that radio interview. t that is being governor, making sure that everyone sees you doing your job and that you are not flummic sed by this. meanwhile behind the scenes you know there is sheer pandemonium
happening behind the scenes. coming up the republican lawmaker who listened to a voter's ugly talk about president obama and then said this -- >> look, everybody knows he picks and chooses which laws he is going to enforce or not enforce. >> where is the decency? why hasn't he apologized? plus tonight's justice files. the affluenza team returns to court. and george zimmerman returns to the ring for a so-called celebrity boxing match. i'll respond tonight. this is interesting.
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it's been 24 hours since we showed the video of a town hall meeting with gop congressman jim bradenstein of oklahoma. at that eevent a woman used shocking, offensive language in reference to the president. the congressman did nothing to condemn it. watch. >> obama is not president as far as i'm concerned. he should be executed as an enemy.
>> such offensive comments and yet the congressman bridinstine said nothing except the president is lawless. doesn't he find that language out of bounds to any president of the united states? we reached out again today to the congressman's communications director for a response to this video, yet again we got no response. sadly the video is part of a pattern. there is a lot of ugly talk out there and too often the right wing refuses to decry it. here is another event last
summer past. >> what i need from you is to know what you can do, you and your ulfellow noncommunist colleagues what you can do to stop the executive orders laid by this foreign borne american hating communist. what can you do? we need some help. [ applause ] >> so, thank you for your question. he said it loud enough that you all heard it. >> thank you for your question? that man just called the commander in chief an american hating communist and the congress woman's response is thank you. here is another example.
>> congress woman's response is she has doubts about the president's birth certificate. here is another. >> he needs to be stopped. >> impeachment. >> we need to get -- it should have been started a long, long time ago to draw up something to stop this run away train that we have in the white house. >> either way, if i could write that bill and submit it -- >> do it. >> excuse me, it would be a dream come true. >> a dream come true. forget that congressman has no grounds for impeachment, it is a dream to him. how about this exchange at one of congressman steve king's town hall? >> he's a marxist.
he's a muslim marxist. >> he's at least a marxist. and he surely understands the muslim culture. >> he does. >> he doesn't have an american experience. >> that is reprehensible. back to congressman bridinstine. he is a tea party politician elected in 2012. what makes his behavior exceptional is he is demanding president obama apologize to him. here he is talking about the president's investment in climate change research. >> we know this president spends 30 times as much money on global warming research as weather forecasting and warning. for this grossness allocation the people of oklahoma are ready to accept the president's apology. >> the president owes an apology? where is your apology? where is your leadership? where is your decency?
joining me now are joe madison and bill press. thank you for coming on the show tonight. >> thank you. >> let me go to you first. an elected member of congress staying silent when faced with this kind of violent talk about the president of the united states. your reaction. >> my reaction would be that these are a group of hypocrites. you know this kind of language would not be allowed on the floor of the house of representatives. they would be immediately reprimanded. here is what is going on. these are just not people who are gathered together nilly willie. these are republican activists. these are the people who are the activists in the party that are saying these types of things. the other thing is they become
euphemisms for uglier and darker language that they can't use. if this was 50 years ago it would be the language of jim crow. >> i'm not as concerned -- i accept what joe is saying. i'm concerned about the silence of members of congress standing and say nothing. that is not the only thing that we heard at the town hall. listen to this. >> time for one more question. yes, ma'am. >> the only way i see out of this is to overwhelmingly change the senate so that we then can impeach the s.o.b. >> [ laughter ]
[ applause ] >> you know, you look so sweet. [ laughter ] >> that's his reaction. and i get it to tea party guy elected in 2012. but are there no limits here for members of congress sworn to uphold constitution and to serve all constituents shouldn't there be a limit to what they laugh off and go along with and at least not confront? >> absolutely. and the smile on the congressman's face there when she called the president an s.o.b. is just disgusting and sick and deplorable and despicable. a couple of points. i hope the secret service is knocking on that congressman's door and that woman's door for talking about executing. this is not a laughable matter. this is a serious crime. number two, we know politics is not being bad. there are some limits and has to
be a sense of decency. you don't see anything here with the congressman. something else that bothers me is the silence of this congressman. his silence equals assent, consent. not just this congressman from oklahoma. where is john boehner? where is the leader, where is eric cantor? the leadership of the house. if any democrat said this nancy pelosi would be condemning their remarks. >> let me be clear this is about what is right and fair. no one has been more critical of john mccain than i have over and over and over again. i give mccain credit. he handled it much differently. look at this. >> i do not believe and i can't trust obama. i have heard about him and he is
an arab. >> no, ma'am. he's a decent family man, citizen that i just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. that is what this campaign is all about. >> that's the kind of leadership that democratic republican that you should expect from people that are trying to hold higher office and really interpret the constitution and laws in this country, joe. >> that is the kind of leadership running for dogcatcher, called civility. that is exactly. we are losing it. i just got an e-mail from a minister saint margaret's church in dayton. he wrote a piece on what has happened to civility. and then you wonder how come our children act out when they see adults who are in positions of power like a congressman and a woman whose old eenough to be
their grandmother calling out the president's mother, calling the president's mother a b? and then you wonder why your children act up? >> you see, what is different about this -- we have heard extreme all of our lives and many of us have been in a lot of movements that got extreme and people act like that. the difference here is elected officials and their behavior when it seems to be nope boundaries. look at this. these are all elected officials. >> we have an increasingly lawless presidency. all i can tell you is that the general consensus is he has produced -- >> we want all tools available to use including that impeachment tool. >> tell me how i can impeach the president of the united states. >> there is a pattern of lawlessness in this administration that is breath taking. >> lawlessness, impeachment,
birth certificate. these are elected officials and these are not extremists at rallies. >> again, with politics it's okay, it's expected to disagree with the policies of the opposition. but what we see with president obama we talked about this the last time from the beginning are personal ugly attacks which are meant to destroy any credibility he's got and even to challenge his right to be president or the fact that he is president of the united states. you know it comes down to me joe is a talk show host and you are. we have a responsibility. sometimes people call us and say crazy things. we have to step in and say you don't go there. i do it all the time. >> we all do. we all have to step in on our show and say to people that call i don't agree with that. these are callers these are not members of the congress.
>> and let me tell you, they are priming the pump for impeachment. that is why this election 2014 is probably the most important election. it doesn't make a difference whether or not -- and be careful of how we get out the vote. i guarantee you somebody right now on capitol hill they're writing articles of impeachment. >> joe madison, thank you for your time this evening. >> good to be with you. still ahead remember the teenager who used the affluenza defense to avoid jail time for a deadly dui? he is back in court and back in our justice files tonight. also, did you hear that george zimmerman will be a celebrity
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>> thank you. >> let's start with breaking news in the notorious affluenza case. going on right now behind closed doors ethan couch is in a hearing to determine the terms of his probation. he got ten years probation and no prison time despite killing four people while driving drunk. ethan's lawyers said he suffered from affluenza caused by his wealthy parents coddling him into a sense of irresponsibility. the judge at today's hearing is the same judge who gave ethan probation and ignited a national debate. she is expected to rule on whether ethan gets sent to a posh rehab facility paid for by his father.
this judge is under fire for a ruling. what do you expect her to decide about this teenager's probation? >> i think she is going to stick with her ruling and sentence him to ten years probation. the question will be where he spends it. i think the decision will be the texas juvenile system can't across the needs. my question is if the texas juvenile justice system isn't good enough for ethan couch, why are we sending any kids there, the ones that have money and the ones that don't they should deserve to get equal treatment they need. it should have been prison. >> if she does stand by her decision and says he is going to not have to go to jail, the criminal justice system there as faith said doesn't work and he can be redeemed or rehabilitated this way, does she also affirm affluenza, rich kids saying i
was cuddled so i'm not responsible? does she defend that as an argument in texas? >> she has listened to this spoiled brat defense and based on that defense she gave this young man ten years of probation for killing four people when he was triple the legal limit while driving and had valium in his system. that sends the message that if you have the money and the right defense lawyer that you should be treated differently than other people in the criminal justice system having that access to that kind of money. it is a horrible message. my understanding is she sentenced him to this probation of ten years on four counts but there is two counts where he injured two people that are alive that she has to sentence him on now. we have to see what she is going to do. she has an opportunity to do the right thing and also give him jail time but she may not.
she may not. she may consistently go along with this probation. >> we are totally hearing -- we do not know her decision. we'll be watching this case and what the judge's decision is very carefully. let's move on. the next we have a new potential stand your ground case in florida. jury selection is underway in the murder trial of a man accused of shooting an unarmed black teenager. in november of 2012 michael dunn pulled into a gas station next to a car full of teens. done said ehe asked the teens to turn the music down. they began to argue and he claims he saw a gun in the car. >> this guy goes down on the ground and comes up with something. i thought it was a shotgun. that's when i reached in my
glove box, unholsterred my pistol. i shot. i was scared for my life. i fought back. >> dunn fired eight or nine shots into the car killing 17-year-old jordan davis. no weapons were found in the teen's car. dunn fled the scene and went back to his hotel and never called police. he was arrested the next morning at his home. dunn faces charges of first degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. will a jury buy his self defense argument? >> i don't think so. i think he has a big problem on his hands. he left the scene. he didn't call the police. ehe didn't say he was in fear for himself. he left the scene and went home. when he makes a claim that it was self defense that there was a gun pointed at him there are
no weapons found at the scene. the jury will have a big problem with the self defense that this man is arguing as to get him off this case. he has a big problem. >> now, we have a copy of a letter that michael dunn, the accused, wrote to his girlfriend from prison in june saying, quote, i just got off the phone with you and we were talking about how racist the blacks are up here -- talking about in prison. the more time i'm exposed to these people the more prejudice against them i become. this is one of several letters awritten that the defense is trying to keep out of the trial, letters in which he frequently refers to the teens he shot as thugs. isn't this relevant for trial? >> it is absolutely relevant. i think those words may very well come back to haunt him. in order to get a self defense charge to the jury i believe he will have to take the witness stand and tell his version of
events and he has to convince the jurors that he was in reasonable fear for his life. and he is going to hone on the fact that he saw a gun. that is what he needs here. he was in his car. there is no physical injury and no physical confrontation. he is take his chances. he is betting on this case that the jurors believe there was a gun, that this kid had a gun. those prosecutors will use the words to say he had it because the kids were black. >> he is going to also probably use the texas version of stand your ground. are we going to see another battle of stand your ground as some of us have continued questioning that in florida and other states including texas? >> if the case was happing here in florida we would be seeing
it. there are two components in florida. one is to ask for a hearing before the trial. the jury instructions are changed. even heard in the zimmerman case house the jury was instructed on stand your ground. if those instructions are similar we may hear stand your ground rear its ugly head again. >> that is why i do continue fighting the stand your ground laws. thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you. coming up the major decision that had both the president and the first lady offering praise today. also, what makes george zimmerman a, quote, celebrity? lots of people are talking about it. i will weigh in ahead. bulldog: mattress discounters
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and packed with key nutrients to help support your eyes and brain, too. centrum silver. for the most amazing parts of you. if you have a business idea, we have a personalized legal solution that's right for you. with easy step-by-step guidance, we're here to help you turn your dream into a reality. start your business today with legalzoom. george zimmerman has been busy in the seven months since the trayvon martin verdict. he has been on the news on more than one occasion for run ins with the law. now george zimmerman has signed on for a so-called celebrity boxing match. we learned today that his opponent in the ring will be rapper dmx. like any american zimmerman has the right to pursue whatever he wants in life but i have one
simple question, when exactly did george zimmerman become a celebrity? did he become a celebrity when he shot and killed trayvon martin? when he went on national tv and said he had no regrets about the killing? >> do you regret getting out of the car to follow trayvon that night? >> no, sir. >> do you regret that you had a gun that night? >> no, sir. >> do you feel you would be here for this interview if you hadn't hadt that gun? >> no, sir. >> i feel that it was all god's plan. >> say it was all god's plan. is that when he became a celebrity? did he become a celebrity on the night the jury found him not guilty or did it happen a few weeks later when a juror said she thought he got away with murder? let's be clear. george zimmerman's only claim to fame was killing an unarmed
young man named trayvon martin. killing someone does not make you a celebrity or it shouldn't. and this point is particularly important today because today is trayvon martin's birthday. he would have turned 19 years old today. i do not begrudge people that receive celebrity status or high profile status that i disagree with. i was in an airport wing and a politician was there and people on different sides came up and spoke to us and took pictures. that's fine. he is known for what he stands for. people agree with him and he is there based on merit and conduct. but when we start making celebrities, we start in some way glorifying people whose only claim to fame is killing someone unarmed even if a jury says they are unable to find the letter of
the law there, do we not have boundaries in who we raise as celebrity and glorification in society? think about it. think about it on trayvon's birthday. thanks for watching. "hardball" starts right now. whose behind all of this? let's play "hardball." let me start with this. who built this huge lumberring take no prisoners payback machine, this machine that told so many people in governor christie's office to punish the mayor of fort lee to even answer a phone call from him, even